Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
These are the first stoneflies of the year to appear in most parts of the country, and often the first aquatic insects noticed by the angler. Their dark brown or black bodies are easy to spot against the snowbanks where they crawl around.
Capnia in the West and Allocapnia in the East are probably the most common genera of this prolific family.
CaseyP on Nov 28, 2012November 28th, 2012, 11:55 am EST
in the winter, we here in the east are told that little black stoneflies might be hatching, so we tie up neat little tiny black things to represent the dries. can anyone steer me to a proper pattern for the nymphs? or is any dark quite small generic nymph going to do the job?
Entoman on Nov 29, 2012November 29th, 2012, 7:30 am EST
Hey, no sweat Casey. Happens all the time.
looks like some fine brass wire and yellow pheasant tail would make the right kind of Sawyer pattern nymph for these guys. skinny little things, aren't they!
You got that right! I remember the first time I saw them against my kick net, I thought they were midge pupae until looking closer. I think your idea for an imitation is spot on as well. Though their nymphs are usually brown, I've also had good luck with tiny Copper John's tied with black wire during Snowfly season. Perhaps they take them for drowned adults or just silhouette better in slightly turbid water. As you suggest, tie 'em sparse!
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman